Date:13/10/2005 URL:

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A solution to `chucking' problem

Meera Srinivasan

AWESOME TWOSOME: Arun Manohar and Varun, students of Aerospace Engineering

CHENNAI: Two IIT Madras students have news on `chucking' that could interest cricket lovers.

Christened `Xiva', the software developed by Arun Manohar and A.V.Varun, students of Aerospace Engineering, can detect flex action of bowlers. Xiva is an `automatic chuck detector.'

This year at Shaastra - IIT's annual tech fest - `industry-defined problems' was a key event. A few problems identified by industry were posted on Shaastra's website a month ago. Over 100 college teams sent their solutions to chosen problems.

Eight entries were shortlisted for the finals. The finalists presented their solutions before a panel of judges from General Electric.

The two chose the problem of designing an image-based flex detection system that alerts an umpire when a bowler bends his bowling elbow at an angle greater than 15 degrees or `chucks'.

Arun and Varun, who bagged the first place, said they thought the problem gave them scope to experiment with Image Processing. Being cricket buffs helped, they admit. All that the duo used for equipment was Arun's mobile phone camera. They then came up with an algorithm that can calculate the flex angle.

A camera is placed in line with the bowler's crease to capture his action. The frame capturing the release of the ball is chosen, filtering the unnecessary background. Flex angle can be measured by drawing straight lines from the located hand. The flex angle criterion will decide the chuck, says Varun.

"After sufficient testing and reduction of error rate, we plan to submit our proposal to the BCCI," says Arun. Apart from a cash prize, this project has given the duo an opportunity to intern with GE. "We are really looking forward to the internship," said Varun.

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